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POETICS: 1984 - 1994 

Wayne Scott Ray 


Electronic Books In Print 

[an Imprint of HMS Press] 

POBox 340 Stn B 
London Ontario N6A 4W1 

ISBN 978-1-55253-079-5 PDF 
ISBN 978-1-55253-075-7 Paper 

Table of Contents 

The Captain 3 

Arma Virumque Cano 6 

Riding on the Coattails of Death: 

The Life and Times of BF Gardner 28 

Unpublished poems 1985 to 1994 45 

Haiku from In A Dream 69 

The Captain was written as prose in 1983 and published in '84 in a limited edition of 50 as a long-poem, in 8" 
X 10" format, accompanied by photographs of WWII, Korea, the 'Captain' and his family. 


The rusted lid came open 

on the steel trunk quite easily 

to my surprise, 

as it had been closed to me 

for some twenty and seven years now. 

I can't say why my recent rambles 
have brought me to this musty 
attic comer as I have been doing 
for hours, or years now. 

The lid lay open for a long time 
before I sat, reached into the trunk 
and slowly unfolded the flag 
of my patriotism. 

Wrapped inside was my trench knife, 
blood of my transgressions. 

Three years in Europe went by 
in that instant, men and machines 
destroying Brest, rebuilding Cardiff, 
following Paton in his endless flight, 
an endless night. 

So long ago and so far away, yet, 
it seems like only yesterday. 

Closing my minds eye to my life 

is impossible now, 

while I continue to pull things 

out of the trunk and the dice 

fell out of my hand, 

snake eyes in the dust. 

The trunk sat without a sound 

against the back of the truck 

as the men loaded on the H.M.S. Hughes 

at Marseille and headed for the Philippines 

on the first troop ship to pass 

through the Panama Canal. 

Five thousand men went into that little ship. 

Setting the flag aside 
I slip on my combat boots and 
stand in the rice paddies 
of that Hell hole, AnYang, Korea. 

Seventy-seven days without V.D. 

and then some private comes in with Leprosy. 

Bull dozers falling off of cliffs. 

Starving Koreans in the camp dump. 

I had opened and closed the photo albums 


before I knew it and everything 

seemed to fall into place, 

that Emily Post arrangement of things. 

The trunk was put on a plane 

and sent back to the land of its making. 

It sits half full and half empty 
against the attic wall as my mind 
is loaded onto a dream ship, 
headed past the Philippines, past Korea, 
past the sixteen-thousand days of my life, 
past all those days on the air force base 
no, not past those years of my life. 

Those years in that frozen paradise, 
years of; clam bakes, lobster boils, 
parties, blue skies and February fogs, 
barracks and bogs, army protocol 
and vice chiefs of staff. 

I see that my manuscripts are still here. 
Transcripts of a time gone by, 
when all we wanted to do was fly, 
to live long and never die. 

No one remembers us but 

0 GOD do we ever remember We! 

1 hear my wife downstairs preparing lunch 
or is it supper time? 

I hear my sons coming home from school 
and helping set the table and, 

I hear footsteps in the trunk running fast. 

I fill up the trunk and lay the flag 
on the top and the running stops. 

I close the lid and there is 
knocking from within. 

Next time I'll bring my sons into the attic. 
The pounding grows endless. 

I'll come back soon, I will. 

The pounding ceased. 

The footsteps walked slowly away. 

The footsteps and I, walked slowly away. 


Anna Virumque Cano began as a Grade XIII Latin class assignment at College Avenue SS in Woodstock 
Ontario in 1970, under the direction of Carol Sales. It was intended to be an updated version of one of the 
books of the Aeneid by Virgil, whereby Aeneas travels to Heaven at the end of the world, searching for God. 

As the years rolled on, I rewrote and added to the manuscript until the final version was published in 1986, in 
a limited edition of 50 copies. Its only review stated: 

"Wayne Ray's Anna Virumque Cano ("Of Arms and the Man I sing" - a quotation from 
Virgil's Aeneid) is an excursion through religious hyper-space in which the Hero and the Priestess 
contend in characteristic typefaces. A kind of manic charm is unfortunately too slight to sustain the 
burden of thought, gloom, and despair laid upon it and the reader is inclined to share "the last / 
horrible wrath / of your truly / unforgiving / GOD ! ! " This book was probably a lot more fun to write 
than it is to read. Elizabeth Woods CBRA 


(Aeneid Updated) 

In the beginning was there God, 
creating the heavens and the Earth, 
and He saw that this was good. 

In the beginning God sent forth the light 
from the sun and divided the darkness 
on the face of the Earth, placing the fishes 
in the sea and lakes and the wide rivers 
and He placed the birds in the air 
and other creatures on the land 
and He saw that this too was good. 

God became lonely soon after and set 
forth upon the land, to rule the land 
and counsel the creatures of the air 
and water and sand, a new being 
in His image and called him Man, 
and He saw that this was good. 

In the beginning. 

* * * * 

I sing of arms and the man 
of he who has travelled 
in search of the truth, 
for an answer which God 
has for him and Mankind. 

He has left unrequited 
loves and hopes 
and faithful friends 


and set upon this quest 
to the Holy Kingdom of God, 
into those invisible regions 
where we cannot follow. 

A grave place, cloaked 
in mystery and hidden 
under the golden arches 
of the last church of the faithful. 

After a long search 

to the four comers of the Earth 

and the seven seas and 

the deserts and mountains of the Earth, 

he comes upon the crumbling walls 

of the entrance to the Kingdom of God. 

The Priestess, accosts him as he approaches. 

Our Hero speaks; 

"O Great Priestess, 
true is it said 
that this is the entrance 
to the Kingdom of God. 

Grant me this one wish, 
that I might go into 
the presence 
of the Holy Father, 
inspire me to see 
events in futurity, 
give unto me what Heaven 
has promised my fate. 

Fix my wanderings and 
find a place for the exiles 
of human race". 

With this said, 

the Priestess began to speak; 

"You, my son, because 
of your faithful beliefs 
and since you have shown 
courage on your quest, 
this wish shall be granted 
and only unto you. 

By night and by day 

the gates to Heaven 

lie open for all to enter, 

but to regain this entrance 

after you have finished, is the task. 


There have been a few 
of a faith such as yours 
who have been able 
to retrace their steps. 

There remains now, in this 
final realm of God, 
the remains of Man's past, 
a key, for in the dying forests 
you will find a tree, 
green in leaf and stem. 

Bring a twig first to me. 

To prove your faith, 
this must you do!" 

"Ibant Obscuri Sola Sub Nocte Per Umbrum." 

On he went, shrouded in darkness 
with only the night's warmth, 
through the lonely leafless forests, 
seen through tearless eyes, 
endless sighs, 
through stinking bogs 
and choking fogs. 

He felt hopeless, 

lay down to rest 

in the deepest dark night 

and awoke in a grassy field, 

the center of which, 

when early light had woken him, 

was filled with the greenest 

of leaves and having seized 

a healthy bough, 

rushed back to the dwelling place 
of the prophetic priestess. 

Her color changed, 

her face was not the same 

and from her throat 

hollow groans and tempest came. 

With trembling limbs 

and a heavy breast, 

her staring eyes began to roll 

as God's power filled her immortal soul. 

"To all mankind 
in silent shades and 

I will now reveal that 


which the Lord God 
has set about Himself. 

He has spoken to me 
and it is to be revealed, 
for when He speaks, 
out of his mouth come 
all the hungry cities. 

He has stated; 

' Goforth , 

under the umbric light, 
through the phantom 
dwellings of the past, 
through the old cities 
and towns where Grief 
and Revenge and Failure 
place themselves 
and those of Cancer, 

Squalid Poverty, and 
Malnutrition in the 
Halls of Sorrow are beset. 

Pass through 

the Halls of the Weeping Children 

and tear at your wounds 

so that they may bleed again 

and pass through the Realm of Fear 

and Plague and all forms of beings 

horrible to look at 

and Leprosy and Incest 

and Genocide and the long vines 

of greed and graft, 

wet with the eternal slime 

and you must breath in 

the wicked breath of all met 

and be without sin, 

for sin comes in groups, 

in battalions, 

like the frosts which blight 
the sweet blossoms of youth, 

Cool the burning 
passion in your veins 
and feign bad habits. ’ 

Thus saith your God. " 



If the mind could rectify mistakes 

before they are made, 

then life would be without despair. 

Despair has engulfed me, 
washing away my desire for life. 

Life has given me a distasteful feeling 
with few glimpses of laughter and hope. 
Hope is lost and I must suffer 
throughout my life with Earth's people, 
People mock me and gossip 
behind my back with false faces 
and false smiles are directed at me. 

I turn away but still hear whispering 
voices of deceit and I will never 
achieve satisfaction in my life and 
failure is my name and embodiment. 

I feel in a remote sort of way, 
a depression sweeping my being, 
sadness of failure fills my aching heart 
like a raging tide. I am just a block of stone. 

Halls of Sorrow 

Sometimes I get these feeling 
of sullen sadness and restless 
resolutions of life as if the last 
orchid of the forest was placed 
before my wondrous face 
and without any feelings of guilt... 

Crushed into a worthless heap 
upon the floor at my feet, and there is 
no placed pang of pleasantness now. 

0 God, Great God, 

the mystical mood music of leisure 

passing from my lips, 

to fall to the hard ground at your feet 

never to rise again in our dull days. 

At a time of sadness and restless joy 
the crumpled orchid 
restores its beauty and falls, 
crumpled, restored, crumpled, 

Lights upon a ceaseless ceiling 
sending lifes memories out the door, 
carpets upon a forever floor, 
covering our pent up feelings 
of orchid sorrow. 


Halls of The Weeping Children 

Winter' S Child 

Come the storm of winter's night 
and in the blinding blizzard light 
sirens wail or is it children's fright 
echoing in the storms cold flight, 
but in the ever present darkness white 
we, while inside by warm firelight 
feign the cries of storm by night, 
a frozen heart beneath a street light. 
Spring's Child 

How strange the curves 
and ups and downs of my life. 

Hedges on either side 
of this infinite road, leading 
away, winding away, 
from that vaginal door, 
never ending, up and down, 
up and away. 

Summer's Child 


the children swim 

out into the ocean. 

The boats wait, cold water 

closes over their heads, 

for the strength of refugee children 

is small, they struggle, 

they drown. 

Autumn's Child 

and the rains came and set a coolness 

upon the land, and it was not seen, 

and the sun shone and dried the rain, 

warming the land and it was not felt, 

and the winds blew across the land 

and through the forests, 

and it was not heard, 

and the rains came 

and the sun shone 

and the winds blew... 


Children's Child 

Street urchin on the streets 'till dawn 
and all the people pass him by. 

He spreads himself on a newly mown lawn 
and looks wearily at the sky. 

Where does the future lead him to? 

Perhaps a golden sunset, or 
perhaps a sea darkened blue 
or death so sweet and subdued. 

The Realm of Fear 

For every stone and shadow knows 
what evil lurks amongst the rows 
of every line of trees that grow 
melting tracks in new fallen snow 
and in the fogs that creep at night 
that fill the fields with eery light, 
it hides in shadows out of sight 
waiting to use its fear and might 
and if you think you can stop and rest 
when travelling forests on a quest 
beware that when you see blood on stone, 
around the next comer it will be your own. 

Translated and published in Iran, Golestaneh magazine 2004 

Room of Despair 

I take this time to ask God 
or Christ or my soul for forgiveness 
or compassion for all my wrong doings, 
bad, no evil thoughts and deeds. 

I talk gibberish to pass the time, 

I write poetry and avoid the rhyme. 

The lights grow dim 

and the sun sets on my desire 

not to have desires. 

The door closes, 

the chain falls against the wall 

the razor cuts the skin just below 

the water line and the warmth of death 

enters my soul. 

My warm blood, spurt by pounding spurt, 
leaves my black heart. 

My shapeless eye feel weak. 

With the other arm, I place the razor 


on the edge of the tub, 
smile a faint prisoners smile, 
close my eyes and sink down, 
down into a place I've both feared and 
loved and I see myself from afar, 
floating down this last road 
and even in death I find it hard to die, 
just as in life, I found it hard to live, 
see while looking, cry while weeping. 

Two doors await me. 

One to Heaven and to Hell. 

Fire on the crest, ice on the Mantle. 

My soul on a long thin wire. 

My wound bleeds again, 

red stains the grass at the doorstep. 

I reach the threshold, I realize my own expectations, 
know my own limits, 

The door opens, knowing I was right. 

This great portion of the quest finished 
our Hero came upon a road 
leading to a clear river 
which encircles the Kingdom. 

Here, Father Time, 

waits for someone new to ascend to God. 

Here also, a few spirits of the good at heart 

and heroes of wars have gone on 

to the sandy banks for their passage across 

the placid river Styx 

with the spirits of young women, 

few though they be. 

"Who are you, who wish to cross 
to the other shore along the waste 
dominions of the dead? 

Tell me from whence you came 
and where you want to go ? " 

Thus spoke the Ferryman. 

The Priestess suddenly appeared 
and stood beside our hero. 

She stepped out of a cloud of dust 
presenting the Ferryman 
with the green twigs 
and spoke, saying; 

"We have come from Mother Earth 
and wish to go into the presence of God, 


the Father in Heaven, the Creator". 

Great Apocalypse 

with its four horsemen 

make the kingdom shudder 

with their great evil 

and hold fast the entrance 

to the cave leading to the Realm of God. 

The Priestess, 
seeing the riders 
opening jaws of anger, 
throws each one, 
illusions of peace, and 
shades of love and hope. 

As they recline on their steeds 

our interlopers gain 

entrance to the cave 

and journey away 

from the peaceful river of time. 

From the caves far most exit, 
another road leads to the 
Sacred Groves of the Lonely Virgins, 
amongst whom a lovely young woman 
wanders and as our Hero came near 
and recognized her and she, him, 
she spoke, in dreams and words; 

"Alas, it is you 

who had left my love, 

and set upon this quest". 

(please come back to me 
even in death I’ve waited so long 
don 7 be afraid to ask my heart 
where i am going) 

\"0 how I've waited 
these long years 
for your return and died 
of a broken and lonely heart 
because of our 
great and lost love". 

(these are the thoughts 
of my loneliness 
dark shadows haunt my dreams 
shadows of what might have been 
had i opened my heart 


I’ve waited too long 

for you to say it 

i alone hear the words 

and here upon my bed i lie 

where dark shadows linger 

never to know 

what might have been 

had i opened my heart to you 

and the worst dreams 

are thoughts of loneliness 

and i was going to touch you 

just now but i hesitated a moment 

you were gone 

i so long to touch you 

hesitated, gone again 

let me reach you 

unlock the longings 

within my heart) 

Our Hero 

soothed her with words, 
alas, in vain 
for she remained lonely 
even in death. 

(not having known love 
i dreamt of going to your empty 
house or apartment or lodging 
on a steamy dark night under 
a blue moon where we drank 
and talked and laughed 
while you stripped me naked 
with your eyes 

phantom fingers up and down 
my thighs 

your tongue on my breasts 
and having never known love 
i dreamt. 

Turning, she walked 
into the peaceful gropes 
and found solace 
in the serenity of the self. 

blue sleep ocean water 

clinging to me 

your voice calling to me 

you found another love to hold 

while my love grew stale and old 


i longed for you and called your name 

while you were loving another 

i was so vain to think 

that you would wait for me 

maybe it was my destiny 

to whore myself 

to submit my overt sexuality 

to many men lovers beasts devils 

i just don 't love you any more 

and you wouldn 't understand 

that the minds of men 

are shrouded in hell 

the words are falling off 

and all is well round to nothing 

and everyone yells in kingdom come 

dark hollows taking shape 

in masses of glass 

and shadows of darkness) 

As the Priestess 
and our Hero wandered 
they came to the 

Fields of Friendship of Days Past. 

Here they met the souls 
of friends of former wars, 
one beckoned, saying; 

A thousand battles have we fought 
a thousand battles won, 
seen fighting pride 
across those bloody plains. 

Bayonets up and fixed to kill 
the enemy's seen and off we go, 
our courage was fleeing forward. 

Now for us these wars are over, 
each battle fought was won, 
peace shall come upon this Earth, 
until there is another one. 

I am here now in God's realm 
and what joy does fill my heart 
to see you safe and free. 

Let us stay friends even in death, 
a strong kinship, you and me. 

Our hero wept 
tears of happiness 
until the Priestess spoke; 


"Night is rushing on 
and we must not spend 
our precious time in idle 
weeping and the tearing of flesh, 
for here the road divides, 
one part leading through 
the Holy City to the House of God, 
and the other part is for me 
for my journey is done 
and through nearby gates 
I must go, back to my beginnings. 
Goforth with a stout heart 
and in good faith. " 

With these words she rose into the air 
and in a rush of wind and a cloud of dust, 
she disappeared from whence she came! 

As he walked through the gates 

to the City of God, 

the air became clear 

and the rivers ran clean 

and he came upon green grasses, 

fields and great buildings 

of charm and beauty. 

As he walked through 

this wonderful City of God, 

he passes the souls 

of great men and women 

and there is a song in the air 

while the sun shines bright overhead. 

After a short walk our Hero 
comes to the Mansion of God. 

He steps into the presence of God 
and spoke, saying; 

"In devotion all there is of us 
is for you, God. 

We take a lowly place to ser\’e you 
with a consistency of the spirit. 

In this faith my heart is set to do 
all the will of God, 
the hardships and the toil, 
to lay our tributes at the feet 
of one who is nobler than we. 


In harmony with your character 
are Men who have tried to stem 
the tide of sin in unapplauded toil 
among the street poor and pave a path 
of whole hearted consecration 
into spheres of sublime service. 

O Great God, our father in Heaven, 
we bless thee for all ministries 

and for uniting us all by the bonds offender sympathy. 

You have done great things for us 
and we are glad and send sweet messages 
for your grace and power. 

O God, send us answers that shall make us glad. 

Give life once again to our noblest intentions. 

Comfort those that mourn 
and tear at wounds and grant unto us tender 
solaces and enable us to fortify our spirits 
against that which admits us in the future. 

Fill us with noble desires. 

Help us to scatter the darkness 
from our minds and hearts 
and our souls. I am sorry though, 
that we Humans are so fondly attached 
to those things which so easily perish 
and live lives as tasteless 
as a communion wafer. 

0 God, Great God, but alas, 
who am I to speak, but a puny man 
beside your great realm. 

Why are not the waters sparkling 
and the air clear on Earth ? 

In the beginning you placed us 
upon this Earth to learn from nature, 
but have we been looking so long 
that we do not see? Heard your call 
but not been listening? 

Have we been sleeping much too long ? 

Surely you can 't say that we 've been wrong ? 

War, famine, pestilence, disease, 
you say it's us, but this can not be. 

Your hand has been in all living things, 


some species are going and others are gone, 
you say it's us, but you must be wrong! 

We cannot die! 

You are with us, aren't you? 

God, come back! 

Wl'iere are you going?" 

* * * * 

God rose up into the air 

and spoke in flames 

to melt his icy stare, 

while the ground beneath 

our Hero's feet, 

trembled such that no beast 

nor bird could sleep 

and all the oceans under the sun, 

boiled and burned 

and rose in clouds, 

creating the last heavenly shroud. 

He raised his arms 

and thunder rolled, 

lightning flared and rain was bold. 







Riding on the Coattails of Death: The Life and Times of BF Gardner was first published in 1985 in 
a limited press run of 50 books in an 8X10 format. I was told that I had made fun of everyone who 
worked at the U of T except the Greeks. Maybe true as there were 25 people who hated it and me and 25 
people who loved it and wanted a sequel. It is purely satire and the names have not been changed to 
protect the innocent and remember it was written in the voice of the character BF Gardner, not I. It is 
politically incorrect and downright rude at times, other times just comical. 


B.F. Gardner was born on the lower East side of Toronto in 1953 and was immediately put up for 
adoption by his invalid mother, a 16 year old Jarvis Collegiate student. He began his writing career in the 
washrooms of Riverdale Collegiate in 1970. In 1975 he married his high school sweetheart, Lynn 
Walmski, a Polock from Beamsville Ontario. 

In 1980 he went for psychological evaluation at the Harry Hardin Psychiatric Institute in North 
York next to his wife's store, Buy Mea Boutique. In short, Harry had this to say: "He is lonely and 
depressed.. lacks self respect.. prefers solitary activities like writing poetry.. lacks financial and occupational 
ambition.. and has episodes of voyerism. Full score I.Q. tests fell in the Above Normal range with evidence 
of anxiety. Tests show he is an avid reader and collector of information. Personality testing showed Mr. 
Gardner to be a shy, seclusive, non-confident intellectual man with sensitive aesthetic interests and 
evidence of emotional blunting and shows indifference to significant people in his life. He detaches 
himself and avoids close relationships because of strong sexual impulses. He is a sociopathic schizoid type 
personality with delusions of grandeur and mild ambulatory excursions where he finds himself following 
people because he thinks he knows them." 

B.F. Gardner spent two years as Writer in Residence at the South Borden Building on the West 
side of the University of Toronto. He was in the steam tunnel connecting the South and North Borden 
Buildings with a female Co-ed (reading poetry??) when a wall collapsed and crushed the Co-ed like air 
being sucked out of a beer can. B.F. got up and ran over to the Silver Dollar to call the police when he 
was stabbed to death by a stripper who "saw a crazy man coming at me yelling and screaming." 


Is this All You've Got? 

It's getting cold out here. 

I'm a stranger at your door. 

I raise a weak fist, a knock, 
hard enough to hear. 

It's getting lonely out here. 

I see a light upon the floor. 

I raise a weak fist, a knock, 
shadows move in fear. 

I've walked a fair mile 
along the winding road. 

I raise a weak fist, open up! 
Feed my aching smile. 

Is this all you've got? 

Bread through the mail slot! 
A morsel of chocolate! 

Is this all you've got? 

You can trust this old man. 
Please don't throw me out. 

I'd rather have the whole loaf 
than eat the crumbs of doubt. 

It's getting cold out here. 

I'm still at your door. 

Unlatch it. Open it wide. 

I want so much more. 


I s De B'y at University of Toronto 

I's de b'y dat feeds de grass 
an' I's de b'y dat cuts 'er 
an' I's de b'y whose brudder works 
wit' de sand an' morter. 

Well I been workin' here so long 
dat I begun ta wonder 
after all dees years o sluggin' me guts 
how I still breaks wind like tunder? 


Hows about a piece of ars 
I'll stick ya wit' me pickle 
an' pull yer dress up over yer face 
all 'round Hart House Circle. 

Oh I's de b'y dat drives de truck 
an' dats jus' fer starters 
I listen to all me Uncle says 
an' carries out his orders. 

Well de foreman works jus' lik' de men 
an' de Unions gonna git him 
fer I been keepin' notes ya see 
an' if I were a fag I'd screw him. 



Well I s de b'y dat stands outside 
in all kinds o' weather 
while de rest of de gang are all inside 
a fightin' wit' each other. 

O' I'm de best as best kin be 
Uncle Bobby's out 'ere too 
an' when it's lunch or coffee time 
we'll stop an' have a brew. 


Hows about a piece of ars 
I'll stick ya wit' me pickle 
an' pull yer dress up over yer face 
all 'round Hart House Circle. 


I Know A Little Dutch Boy 

I know a little Dutch boy 
who ran away from school, 
he could not plant a garden straight 
or learn the golden rule, 
he'd try his very best 
to make the others see, 
you don't need an education 
to work at the U. of T. 

Why there's people here he'd say, 
that can't even spell, 
and some who talk so much 
you could shove 'em down a well. 

There's people here from 'round the world 
with names as strange as soot, 
we've even got one here 
that calls himself the Big Foot. 

There's Spies and Mies and Jiggaboos 

Wops and Dagos tall, Kanuks and Yanks 

and Krauts of course, 

we can't have named them all; there's 

Japs and Chinks and Dykes and Fags 

and Frogs by the slew, Ukes and 

Commies and of course we can't forget the Jew. 

Well that is all for now my friends 
I must get back to work, 

I've just started this job 

and the foreman thinks I'm a jerk. 


Twas the Night Before Xmas 

Twas the night before Xmas 
and all through the Grounds 
the men were all sleeping 
for none could be found. 

The Lead Hand was busy 
as busy could be 
like a grey haired old elf 
under the Xmas tree. 

Now Gary was scrounging 
and Julio too 
while Richie was dancing 
up on the flue. 

Well up on the rooftop 
there came such a clatter 
the Portugese all looked up 
to see what was the matter. 

Well what to our surprise 
if it wasn't Capt'n Bill 
holding onto BigFoot 
who was screaming so shrill. 

Merry Xmas you all 
and have a good life 
I was up on the roof top 
with somebody's wife. 

Now the foreman asked him 
when he came to the ground 
why he'd waited 'til Xmas 
to make such a sound, 

and how did he know 
that the wife he was in 
was plump as a pudding 
and not Italian? 

Well you know what she said 
and she said it to me, 

I have two assholes and 

one of them works at the U of T. 


Thanks for the Mammaries 

Never before have I had them 
I don't know what to do with them. 
As I grew, so did they too... 

You say you know what they're for. 
They really give me the pits, 
so you take them you can have them. 
What can I do with such big tits. 

Not My Job, Bob 

Hey dats nota ma job Bob, 
dats nota ma job. 

If ya git some glass 
stuck uppa yo ass 
I can't calla de nurse 
cause dats nota ma job. Bob. 
De Union says so, 
sorry, dats nota ma job. 

Don't Speaka Ma Name 
for julio 

Don't speaka ma name. 
Don't speaka ma name. 
You smeared my face 
all ova da place so 
don't speaka ma name. 

I know I was caught 
red hot ona da spot 
but I am notta insane, 
it's just a little habit I got, 
so don't speaka ma name. 


Sit and Have Some Tea 

I know you'd like to come to my house 
and sit and have some tea 
but it is that time of month you know 
and I have a cyst on my ovary. 

All my clothes are in the Laundromat 
while some are on the line 
and now I seem to scratch a lot, 
you know, where the sun don't shine. 

I'd like to be more friendly 
and go out on a date 
but there's blood in my stools 
and I fear I'm losing weight. 

I've had those silly lumps removed 
from beneath my sagging breast. 

The warts on my toes have disappeared 
and I think you know the rest. 

Just wait a few more days until 

the cramps are gone 

then come over for tea 

but just remember one little thing 

I still have that cyst on my ovary. 


Hey Man 

Hey man 
we got de sun 
a way down here 
in Grenada man. 

Hey man 
we got de sand 
on de beach 
in St. Georges Town. 

But hey now 
what dat sound 
a way down here 
in Grenada man. 

Hey man 
what dat sound 
de planes dey come 
in my home town. 

Hey Man 
what dat sound 
great big planes dey 
bombs an' kill 
de Cubans dey run 
into Richmond Hills. 

Oh man 
what dat sound 
whole damn place 
now Yankee Town. 



Why can't you be 
in total control 
you self effacing 
laboring mole 
you sit and smile 
at me all day 
why can't you work 
you rotund gay. 

I'm always busy 
can't you see 
don't bug my ass 
you old hippy. 


Bullshit, Bullshit 

that's all you talk 

you pick your nose 

you scratch your cock 

you're just a turd 

like all the rest 

you bend my ear 

you fukin pest 

and you have got 

the bloody gall 

to knock me down 

and bust my balls 

look to yourself if 

you're so damned concerned 

my friendship really 

must be earned. 


Guido B. 


Little Jack Sp(F)unk 

Little Jack Spunk 
sat on the bunk 
feeling his girlfriend Mary. 
He stuck in his thumb 
and pulled out a plumb 
and said. Hey Mary... 
where's your cherry? 

If You Cant Get A Girl, Get A Nurse 

0 what fun, the life 
of a nurse must be, 
watching Dr. Spock perform 
a cerebral appendectomy. 

A long long wait 'till graduation, 
sitting on my gluteus maximus 
studying ventricular fibrillation. 

You can bet your femur that 

if you don't pass the test, 

it'll be a burden on the pectoralus major, 

if not a burden on the chest. 

Teachers want us to study, 

1 know what to tell 'em, 

I find it hard to understand 
the hymen from the cerebellum. 

Time will pass and so shall we, 
it's a strain on the cranium though 
to think that they can tell 
that the patella is the knee. 

My Nose Knows 

My nose knows of many a hose 
in this hospital room 
my mouth has three 
my nose has two and my ear 
I'm sure has one. 

One hose feeds my right arm 
and one hose feeds my left 


and they shove a hose 
between my legs to relieve 
to relieve the pressure at night. 

Now I can say without a grin 
that these hoses 
bring things from without 
to within, but my nose knows 
of one living hose 
that would fit inside the nurse 
who brings those ice cold bed pans 
and makes my stay even worse! 


Michael Bruskin 

Between the 
real world grey and 
ochre colored skies 
killed me 
instead of my love 
now I'm free. 

Michael Griffith 

Given the 
real time 
I've spent 

finding the perfect girl 
finding a love 
in this city 

thoughts of you returning 
has me running. 

Michael Broadrib 

Bending over 
really drives the 
old pain deeper 
and sends spasms 
down to my toes 
reaching for your love 
is just about the 
best I can do. 

Chris Compton 

Can you sing the blues 
open your heart strings 
mouth the lyrics 
push out 

that rhythm leave 
out nothing and 
never think twice. 


The next few years of creative writing occurred from 1991 to 1993 and consisted of six essays which were 
published as BookClub BookLits by the London Chapter of the Canadian Poetry Association. These are 
now available in a new collection: Participoet: Essays and Reviews HMS Press & CPA London. Below 
are unpublished poems from 1985 to 1994. 


Vicki Armour 

It’s hard to believe that 
I’ve been in love with you 
for twenty years. 

Although I’ve never written 

you a love song, 

never phoned in the last 

decade but once, 

only written twice, but I dream. 

You have been the main 
character in my stories 
told late at night 
to typewriter keys. 

You will be fifteen forever. 

When I was seventeen 
and you were almost 
- sweet sixteen - 
I dreamt I swam the lake 
to your Algonquin cabin, 
carried you naked 
to the beach, kissed your lips, 
caressed your soft skin 
and having never known love, 

I dreamt. 

When I was twenty-seven 
and you were still fifteen, 

I had a family of my own, 
but each and every summer 
I would get away 

and drive to Whitefish Lake 
where your spirit walked 
the shoreline of my mind 
and having never known your love, 
I dreamt. 

Next summer, 

I’ll be thirty seven 
and you, will turn sixteen. 

I will leave a photo of myself 
on your dock at the beach 
and if you look closely, 
you will see me floating 
just beneath the surface. 

Anthos June/July 1987 


I Wish I Had: 

for shaunt basmajian 

I wish I had the past my friends talk about. 

I wish I had the past I talk about. 

Our paths did cross though, 

long ago, not knowing each other then, 

we could have passed each other on the street, 

drank in the same bar, seen the same 

faces in the same small towns on the same day. 

But does it matter because we’re still 

sitting here reminiscing instead of 

surprising each other with coincidences. 

Mute Swan 

for dinah moss estes 

Take a look at her face then put cotton balls 
in your ears. Take a long look at her face. 

You know she loves you as she wraps tape 
around your mouth and ears, down your torso 
and ‘round and ‘round and ‘round your arms. 

You know she loves you as she walks you over and 
places you inside a glass box and closes the door. 
Take a look at her face. Gaze deep into her eyes. 

Outside your new world everything 
seems to have died: 
no birds chirp nor babies cry, 
no wind blows nor thunder roll, 
no cars drive by nor children play, 
no crickets chirp nor choir sing, 

no trains, no planes, no anything 
outside your new, new world. 

Take a look at her face as she hold up her hands 
and asks you in her Sign Language, 

“How much do you love me?” 


Your heart pounds, eyes wide. 

You can’t speak, lips taped shut, 
reach out for her but your arms are bound 
to your body. 

Your head is filled with ideas you can’t get out, 
visions in your mind only you can see, 
frustration builds and you want to EXPLODE . . . 

You know you love her but, you’re in her world now. 

Going Home 

Would I take the next plane to you? 

Could the next one carry me, 
my baggage and all my love? 

Would there be enough room? 

If I were to take the next plane 
and even if it landed 
right in front of your house, 
would your dreams be fulfilled? 

Could they fill all the empty seats, 
and the cargo bay? 

Should I take the Concorde 
and be there in an hour, or 
catch a sight seeing Learjet, 
and see the country before 
joining you for dessert? 

When I knock at your door, 
with my suitcase in one hand 
and my heart in the other, 
would my dreams, 
your expectations 
and our memories, 
recognize each other? 

Implosion, Windsor 1988 

Giants Of The North Third Eye Press 1993 


for eddy linden 

I saw the two of you sitting 
at the rear of the room 
laughing and touching and 
voicing praise at the 
feminist poet spouting love songs 
and wanting to take you home 
with her words in the smoke filled 
coffee house in the downtown core. 
She seemed to feel there was 
no juxtaposition between 
feminism and lesbianism, yet, 

I would agree with the concept 
of women's liberation and 
I would agree with the concept 
of men's liberation but that doesn't 
make me a bloody faggot! 

( White Wall Review 1984) 


Rochdale 1 

Art Shoes, Yellow paper: 

Mike and Judy a psychotic love affair 

(found poem) 

Hello Judy 

down the hall from me is a lady piano teacher 
and if you like I’ll ask her if you 
could play her piano for a while. 

I love you more than a sister 
for a sister I never had. 

I love you more than a daughter 
because even though I had her mother, she 
has told them not to love me. 

Oh Judy I miss you and there was so much 
I didn’t say 

(did I listen when you were 
telling me an importance?) 

I love your concern 
for even a hardened cicada 
protests inside a paper bag. 

(forgive my packrat mind, my 

stupidity for fumbling and you 

laughed at how warm I felt) 

womanly beauty, 

the ability to express it, 

a warm thought that covers 

the feelings of each moments nearness, 

space time a word that is gracious, complementing, 

(as needed as the nuts on a nut loaf) 

forgive me for you 

find beauty in the junkyards of my mind. 

I need a simple room, a quiet room, 
completely black with a candle, 
a room for contemplating only, 

I seemed to really upset you 
last night when you . . . 

Please express specifically what 
your thoughts were at the moment 
you began to cry and then sob? 

Dear please, I am concerned for you, 
what hurts you, I also feel. 

May I say there is no logic as 
to how you felt at the time. 

You are a woman and 
I couldn’t get over it so please specify: 


how often 
where you want 


how you want 
when you want 

(how honest should I be with her?) 

Your friends, my friends, 
what do they want? 

What do you want? 

True affection bull shit games. 

Oh Judy, the tears well up in my eyes. 

Rochdale 2: 

Mike and Judy a psychotic love affair 

Art basics, props not 
so much alive on basics 
but I can’t speed. 

I’ve got to get in touch with coops, 
find out about ... etc. 

Is it more or less accessible to students 

an inevitability - geo aesthetics 

constant thoughts of suicide 

and I have to consider the light at Rochdale. 

Yellow futures, 

applying for starship birds, 

flexibility shoes, and 

the board committee is involved 

in the feasibility of the 

expensive and the old. 

I’ve only been a grub in the co-op, 
whose people can little afford new ideas 
sand borders. 

I’ve only been a parasite. 

I’ve taken from Lori 
and I’ve given nothing back, 
and from Mike I’ve taken much 
and given in return 
what money can’t afford, 
others are indifferent. 

Mike I care about. 

Much less bed feeling . . . 

Usually bed nothing 
(he’s having ego attention) 

I have not given 

what a human being can be paid for 
when words they will be spoken 
all these thoughts of all these days. 

I don’t give much care 
about philosophical dilemma, 
a divider of suspicion reigns Michael, 
unlock the ravages of this room. 


Show me the whole little girl, 
she must touch, act, sense, feel, 

(she felt she had composed all these things) 

The other night I dreamt that we were 
ordering food which in the end 
we did not eat and the waitress 
got angry and the others with us had left 
and there we were paying nothing, 
later I was bringing up some food 
on a downtown street and I remembered 
that I saw several people, 
people I had to eat to know 
although in reality I already did, 

(we make so much of the little nothings in our brains) 
can you paint the prom? 

I think the world needs another citizen 
who firmly believes 
that they are right. 

Perhaps your paintings are too intense. 

Too much open mindedness 

and some sense of connection, is it fear? 

The kind of undermining techniques 
of the adversary which is built 
into people, oh well . . . 

What promise is there in casting 
free shadows on the beach. 

BSPS Journal, Halifax 1987 

Creative Plagiarism CPA BookClub Booklit 1991 


for theresa 

I have an unprofessional rip in my heart, 
tear the crescent moon out of 
my yielding flesh and hurl it into the sky, 
not too far out of reach though. 

When time wounds all heals I reach up 
into the night air, grab the crescent moon, 
fall to my knees and embed it within my heart. 

For Karen 

In another world 
I dream, 

a world of crib steel, 
a girdered cry of 
red brick tears 
for my never home. 

Boardroom boredom and the 

bare walls of my womb 

reach out tiny fingers 

trying to fill my geodesic stomach. 

Anthos June/July 1987 



When I was 19 and you weren't, 
the songs and poems were the same, 
faces and shapes with no name. 

My dad hung out at the coffee shops, 
had all the kids like groupies 
listening to his stories and songs, 
when I was 19 and he was 45. 

Now I'm 45 and you are 19 
and my kids wonder why I 
hang out at all the coffee shops 
gathering groupies around me. 

I guess it's because I feel 19 
and you will too at 45 
gathering groupies around you 
passing on your stories and songs. 


The Light Went Out Archibald Lampman 

Oh the land that God made 
pre-Cambrian and hard of life, 
a future rose after the permafrost 
wind blows the Peace River dry. 

Oh Archibald, how the green trees climb 
and the sun shines on the last spike 
as we say goodbye to this divided land. 

Snakes of Drumlins in your hair and a 
Hudson Bay blanket on your trappers back 
writing some damn epic poem on Birch 
bark skin with a charcoal stick. 

Where is the poetry of our pre -Cambrian years? 
Has the Great Depression dust filled our ears? 
Are we lost in the barrens, Archibald and 
cannot see the wind when the light goes out. 

Interobang (Fanshawe College) January 1996 


Jaclyn Ray 

When she was born, 
the umbilical cord was severed 
from her mother, tied and tucked 
to form her own belly button, 
feed her Id and Ego, Being. 

When she was born 
her father refused to sever 
the umbilical tie that binds 
parent and child, skin 
on skin, heartbeat sleep, 
first tooth, first word, boyfriend, 
love, pain, synchronicity. 

A father's umbilical cord stretches 
and contracts from a few inches 
to several miles at times, 
hardening as years wear on, tough 
to cut, to sever, to detach 
and then one day, out of the night sky, 
she wakes up and it's gone. 

He wakes up and it's gone, recoiled 

from whatever distance was between them, 

a dried up shrivelled and lifeless heap 

of love, coiled on the dirt floor 

and they find themselves alone on either side 

of an endless mirror searching for the door. 


Queen Elizabeth II Visits St. Thomas 

The day the Queen of England 

visited St. Thomas, 

she put on a baseball cap, 

slid into her Kettle Creek coveralls 

and drove up and down 

the main drag in her pick-up truck. 

She started driving from the shadow 
of the grey-tusked giant 
and whizzed past the library 
where famous writers 
have been know to pat the statue 
on the ass, wishing she were alive. 

The Queen ran a red light, 
headed further East to go shopping 
at the local ‘Tire Store 
for some things the castle didn’t have. 

The night, following the day 
the Queen came to St. Thomas, 
she walked up and down the town 
waiving and smiling at everyone. 

“I am the Queen,” she said. 

She had tried desperately to hide 
her true identity. 

She only wanted to get away. 

A little peace and quiet. 

She continued smiling and waiving 
until long after nine pm 
when the streets are rolled up 
and children are sleeping 
and donut shops were filled with 
baseball caps and cigarette smoke. 

“I am the Queen,” she said 
as two “Palace Guards” in white uniforms 
escorted her away to the Castle 
out on the highway. 

You could see her smiling and waiving 

as each street light illuminated 

the back of the Royal Van, 

and if the doors weren’t shut so tight 

I am sure you could hear her yelling . . . 

“I am the Queen” ... “I am the Queen.” 


Therapy Session: 
for susan ray 

The writer whispered to the reader: 

“I don’t want to be lonely.” 

She read between the lines. 

Read: “alone.” Thought: “alone.” 

Susan passed suddenly in her 64 lh year, August 24 lh 2014 

For Martha McIntosh 

The rain erases your footsteps 
from the path to my back door 
where you’ve crept in the dark 
to peer in and see if I’m home 
at least once or twice this week, 
last week, forever week. 

Tomorrow the sun will bake the 
footprints that weren’t washed away 
and I’ll know it was you who 
came by and stood on the back porch 
because you left your image on the glass 
peering in to see if I am home. 


Milton Acorn 

Do I have to think of death 

Why do tears appear so easily 
In solitude? 

I waited at death's door 
for you ... I hung on, 
really I did. 

The doctor said you'd phoned 
I tried to stay awake 
If I'm gone when 
you arrive, take the jar 
beside my bed . . . 

I've saved my tears. 

Gasping For Air 

If I held you close 
placed my hands around 
your ravens-wing hair 
and pulled your face 
into my chest so that 
as you held your breath 
and opened your bright eyes 
you would gaze upon a map 

In the upper comer 
would be an image of you 
standing naked on a pedestal 
and all the roads on my 
map of the human heart would 
lead directly to you. 

At this moment when we are one 
in my embrace, you have the right 
to take this image from 
my heart wall or leave it there. 

Either way, the memory of your 
beauty remains and you pull back 
from my flesh and hair, gasping for air. 

Strong Winds, CPA Anthology, 1997 
Waking Ordeals, Guelph Ontario 1998 


A Better Place To Be 

If I had a pair of wings, 

I know I'd fly away, 
my heart is not in my life, 
my soul has gone astray. 

If I could send my soul, 
to a better place to be, 

I'd send it where memories lay, 
back in the heart's history. 

If I could share my secrets, 

I would still have this to say, 

If I had a pair of wings, 

I know I'd fly away. 

Poet's Corner Toronto Sun 1988 A young woman who was contemplating suicide, 
read this poem and it changed her life and prevented her death. 


ah napkin 

ah napkin 

where have you been 
below the nose 
or on the chin 
are you full of coffee 
cream or tea 
is there space enough 
left for me for I’ve 
dropped some goop 
on my legs and i 
think it smells of eggs 
and after i wipe 
i’ll leave it again, so 
someone else can say . . . 

ah napkin 

where have you been 

Going Down Goose Lane Toward Broken Jaw , Harmonia Press 2005 



In the dim light of late spring, 

evening if I remember, half 

dreams of love and power 

swim in the Drambuie and she 

thinks of a casual love, 

smiles a remembrance, talks about . . . 

something and smiles again, buys 

another beer for her new friends 

at the bar who are just old enough to drink 

but not old enough to know that 

liquor really is quicker. 

We're over at the edge, listening 
to her and hearing ourselves talk, 
fingers almost touching, thinking 
about the dark side of jeans and 
the bottom of that bottle of Drambuie. 

Wayne Ray 

At dinner I noticed a tremor in your voice 

and as the plates shifts I 

heard an answer rumble in mine. 

While reaching, our hand touched, 
quaking with the fear of uniting Pangea. 

We're circumspect in our conversation, 
careful to avoid the fault 
that, in a moment, will send shock waves 
through our bodies 

causing the platonic to succumb in the tectonic. 
(India Blue) 


The Empty Cafe 

There is a flame burning 
in front of your eyes, little moth, 
as you hover, circle, dart and weave 
your way around this empty cafe. 

Far enough away to feel the heat 
but not close enough to burn, little moth. 

(have you ever thought about it 
from the flames point of view, 
that perhaps the flame is lonely too?) 

There is a moth flying 
in front of your eyes, little flame, 
as you warm, caress, enlighten, attract 
beautiful creatures to your tables glare. 

Far enough away to feel the heat of your hearth 
but never close enough to burn. 


After Reading Virginia Woolf 
I Sat Down And Wept 

(found poem) 

In a sketch of the past 
where colors of memory begin 
I raise my fist to hit him, 

I felt, why hurt another person? 

I dropped my hand instantly, 
and stood there and let him beat me. 

It was a feeling of hopeless sadness. 

I became aware of something terrible, 
my own powerlessness, 
and I remember the feeling, 
where colors of memory begin 
in a sketch of the past. 

Interobang (Fanshawe) 1996 
Waking Ordeals, Guelph, Ontario 1997 



(found poem) 

The physical consciousness of a plant in 
midwinter is not directed towards the past 
summer but toward the coming spring. 

If plants are certain of a coming spring, 
through which they will come out of themselves, 
why cannot I, a human plant, be certain 
of a spring to come, in which I will be 
able to fulfil myself? 

Perhaps our spring is not in this life - 
this life may be nothing but a winter! 


Uketorinin (Japanese for Receiver) was a small chapbook of haiku published by Hamilton Haiku Press in 
1987 when I was working as a receiver at the University of Toronto Bookstore. It was published under 
my Japanese pseudonym Hanna Kuzu. This later became a full essay on the Canadian haiku style and 
titled: Shashin Kaku Haiku soon to be republished in a collection of essays. The original haiku (et al) 
from Uketorinin were later translated into Japanese by Nami Ohara, St. John’s NFLD) and published as 
In A Dream in 2003 from Mercutio Press of Montreal. 

Haiku from In A Dream: 

Serving tea 

in the once empty room 
the warmth of you 

Jyoji no Ato no Daremo irai Heya de 
Anata no Nukumori wo Kanji 
Cha wo Ireru 

Stirring noodles 
over the hot oven fire 
sipping tea 

Tagitta Kamado no 
Men Kakimaze 
Cha wo Susuru 

Cooks chili 
is bad tonight 
stray cat is blind 

Konya no 

Shefu no Chiri no Dekibae 
Noraneko wa Kamawazu 

Sipping Green Tea 
after love settles the air 

Ryokucha wo Ajiwav 
Chigiri no Ato no 
Kaori no Naka de 



embeds fly in ice 
sad sun melting 


Koori no Naki ni Tojikome rareta Hae ga 
Hi de Tokete iku 

In a dream 
they become one 
moth and flame 

Yume no Naka 
Karera wa Hitotsu ri Naru 
Ga to Honoo ni 

We are asleep 

far away from each other 

Siamese dreams 

Tagai ni Hanare te 

Nemutte iru Aida ni 

Futago no you ni Onaji Yume miru 

When we awake 
we brush away soft silver 
tendrils of sleep 

Watashi tachi ga Mezameta toki 
Yawarakana Gin no Nemuri no Tsuru wo 
Harai Nokeru 


in the white snow 
broken candles 


Masshiro na Yuki no Naka de 
Oreta kyandoru 

If I had a pen 
I would write a haiku 
about this moment 

Moshi watashi ga 

Fude wo motte itara 

Kono toki wo Haiku ni kaita darou 


beer sloshing in her brain 
both mouths smile 


Guden Guden ni yoi dore 

Futatsu no Kuchi ga Motomu Yorokobi 

My body 

is possessed by lice 
hotel is full tonight 

Watashi no karada 

Shirami darake 

Konya Hoteru wa Manshitsu 


Three girls 
under an umbrella 
acid rain 

Sansei u 

Sannin no Syojyo tachi 
Hitotsu Kasa no shita 

a sip of wine 
and a poets words, 
thoughts of home 

Wain ajiwai 
Shijin no Kotoba kiki 
Notsukashii Wagaya 

Searching for candles 
you circle each empty hole 

Kyandoru sagashi 
Anata wa Seishyokudai 
Kubomi wo nazoru 

Wayne (Scott) Ray was born in Alabama and spent most of his first fifteen years with his family on 
Ernest Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville, Newfoundland until moving to Woodstock, Ontario in 
1965. He became a Canadian Citizen in 1978. He lived in Toronto with his wife and two daughters from 
1973-1988 when they moved to London, Ontario in July of 1988. Wayne is the founder of HMS Press 
publishing, the Multicultural Poetry Reading Series (University of Toronto), Scarborough Arts Council 
Poetry Contest, co-founder of the Canadian Poetry Association (CPA) (1985-88 Toronto & 1992-1995 
London) and co-chairman of the League of Canadian Poets: Associates (Toronto) for 1985/86. He was 
co-director of the Beaches Poetry Workshop in 1983 and was the recipient of the Editors Prize for Best 
Poet Published in 1989' from Canadian Author and Bookman. Through his work with the CPA as 
National Coordinator, it was his suggestion that established the poetry section of The Literary Review of 
Canada in 1993. He was instrumental in helping establish the London Arts Council and was the 
President of the New London Arts Festival in 1999. He is listed in Who's Who in Ontario. Wayne has 


several books of poetry and non-fiction published as well as credits in; anthologies, periodicals, journals 
and newspapers across Canada between 1983 and 2014.